A:Originally I am from Ventura, California. I lived there until I was 4 then moved to Sioux City, IA. My parents wanted our family to have a better life because of how hard it was financially staying in California.
Q:How did your fitness journey begin?
A:My actual fitness journey started when I was about 20 years old. Before then I did stay active and played soccer all four years of my high school and went off to play for a junior college. I've always had some sort of issue with my weight, it started towards the end of my elementary school going into middle school. I was so shy I hardly had any friends and at that time I didn't care about gaining weight, I didn't even know what a calorie was or the difference between healthy choice and unhealthy ones. I met some of my best friends to this date the summer before my 7th grade and they kept me active. We would play soccer or basketball at the park or ride our bikes. I lost weight that summer unintentionally and I was pretty slim all through high school, again I still didn't care about my weight and my knowledge on fitness non existent. Then I went away to college and gained the freshmen 30. I remember my parents would take me grocery shopping and I would load the cart up with Oreo, frozen pizza, chips, and ice cream and on top of that I would go to the campus cafe. The biggest thing I believe was going out and drinking, I was making so many unhealthy choices there no way I wouldn't have gained 30 pounds on my 5'1 body. I had like an awe moment when I was chowing down Taco Bell after having some shots of tequila with my best friend and said "Coco I think you're gaining some weight". I was like yeah I think so too. I was such in denial I wouldn't face what I had done to myself and the cherry on top was when my mom pointed it out too. They did it in a way to help me and not judge me. That's when I got serious I looked to every magazine, YouTube video, apps anything that talked about being fit because I had no clue what I was doing. I tried so many things the Special K diet, juicing, eating clean and fitness wise I've done races, lifting, group classes and CrossFit. It took me a year to lose all the weight and get back to my normal self, that's why I always tell people to be patient like one of my clients told me, "I didn't gain all this weight all at once, so I know I won't lose it all at once either."
Q:Why did you choose to compete in the NPC bikini division?
A:I chose to compete in the NPC bikini division because I wanted that extra push. I was at my desire weight but lifting became my passion through my weight lose journey I got fascinated with how much our bodies can handle and do. I would follow these beautiful women on social media who competed looked strong but still feminine. I knew how hard it was going to be mentally and physically but I am a competitive person at heart and I wanted that purpose. I really see bodybuilding as a sport that I love to participate in. I plan to do the Branch Warren Championship in October and next year compete nationally. My dream is to get my pro card because I'm in this to win and bring out the best in myself.
Q:Can you give us your pre contest workout and diet routines?
A:Since the beginning of this year I stared flexible dieting so I follow my macro nutrient. During my peak week I did not cut out any water or sodium. I know a lot of people do it the old fashion way and cut out water a week before but that leads to many problems. It's important to have a good coach who has proper knowledge and will guide you to look your best on stage. I did do some carb loading with sweet potatoes, honey and peanut butter had some steak and chicken as well. I cut out most veggies except cucumbers and tomatoes 4 days out to avoid any bloating. As far as my workout routine I kept my same split Monday- Back/Shoulders, Tuesday- Quads/Hammies/Abs Wednesday- Chest/biceps/triceps/ and Thursday I did light glute work because I didn't want to be super sore on stage and Friday I took it off.
Q:Describe being on stage...
A:It feels so surreal being on stage there's a point where I hear nothing at all and I just try to concentrate on what i'm doing. It goes by so fast and before you know it you're already off stage but the adrenaline rush stays with you. I usually do novice and open so I get to have more stage time. Some people might wonder why we do this if we are only up there for a short period of time but train weeks and weeks before. I would say its the feel of accomplishment regardless of what you might place, its a sign of relief that you actually made it through because preparing for one of these shows is physically and mentally exhausting.
Q:Favorite cheat meal?
A:I would say my favorite cheat meal would have to be some Papa Johns pizza with mushrooms, Italian sausage, pepperoni and peppers dipped with that naughty garlic butter on the side. A little piece of heaven right there!
Q:It's a typical Friday night, what are you doing?
A:Friday night I am probably getting off work and heading home. I usually always work weekends and work early the next day. There isn't much to do where I live and the bar scene I'm not a big fan of like I used to be back when I was going to college and I'm okay with that. I had my fun times and I occasionally go out with my girlfriends here and there but nothing beats watching my favorite shows with some half baked fro-yo from Ben and Jerry's on a Friday night.
Q:Can you give us all of your social media handles?
A:For more motivation you can follow my Instagram page@CocoGFitness and Twitter @Fitness_Ready